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Video:How to Increase the Odds of Having Twins

with Jonathon Stewart

If you're thinking of doubling down on a matching pair, here are a few ideas on how to increase the odds of having twins.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Increase the Odds of Having Twins

Having one baby at a time is challenging enough, but there are some parents-to-be who actually want to juggle more than one at a time by having twins or other multiples. Some say it's in the genes while others just say its fate. However, some evidence may actually point to some factors that can swing the odds of twins in your favor if that's what you really want.

Tips for How to Increase the Odds of Having Twins

Some studies have put it down to your weight and age. For example, one study by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology tied an increasing rate of multiple births with mothers that have a higher body mass index, known as their BMI. A BMI of 30 or higher in women showed that they were more likely to get pregnant with fraternal twins. The research also found that a similar pattern was found in taller women as well as older women. However, waiting until you're older or carrying more weight are both factors that increase the risks involved in pregnancy. So, it's probably not a great idea to fatten up or put yourself on the stretcher if you're hoping to have twins, but if you're a guy looking to have twins, you might wanna take a second look at any tall, Rubenesque, 30-somethings you may have had your eye on.

More Tips for How to Increase the Odds of Having Twins

Some suggest diet may play a role in the potential for twins. West Africa's Yoruba tribe has the most twins in the world. One study found that a chemical in yams or sweet potatoes, which was a staple of their diet, caused hyperovulation, which led to the high rate of multiples. Other studies over the years have pointed to dairy foods as helping to stimulate the right environment for multiples. However, nothing has been proven conclusively, but there is no harm in trying.

A lot of it may boil down to genetics as well––multiples do tend to run in families––but unfortunately we don't have a whole of control over this. You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your family. Many who have difficulty conceiving seek out fertility assistance, and often find that they end up with more than one baby. Reproductive technology involves the use of drugs that help stimulate the ovulation process in women, which can lead to multiple fertilizations, and hence, multiple babies. In vitro fertilization also has a higher twin rate, but neither of these courses of action can be taken if you simply just want twins. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are having trouble conceiving and wish to explore these options.

Can You Increase the Odds of Having Twins?

Finally, those who have had twins before are actually more likely to have twins again over women who have never been pregnant or delivered one child at a time. So, ultimately, if you're starting from scratch, there's not really a whole lot you can do. But trust me, having just the one baby at a time will keep your hands full.

I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.
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